Gingival Grafting Post-Operative Instructions

Gingival grafts have several purposes. Some grafts are placed to restore lost attached gingiva to prevent further recession and are not intended to cover root surfaces. Root coverage grafts are placed to restore lost gingiva and to cover exposed root surfaces. Total root coverage may not always occur and a second procedure may be required.


  1. Care of your mouth- Normal care should be performed on all teeth except where the graft was placed and near the donor site. 
  2. Discomfort- use medications as prescribed, as you need them. Using an ice pack is recommended off and on for the first 24 hours.  Some swelling may occur.
  3. Eating- Your meals for the next several days should be softer. Avoid using the treated side. Cold, soft foods are recommended initially. Avoid hard foods such as chips, nuts, and popcorn.  Acidic foods such as citrus fruits should also be avoided. Do not use straws.
  4. Smoking- Please refrain from smoking for at least 24 hours. Longer is better as tobacco use interferes with healing.
  5. Exercise- Avoid any strenuous activity for 5-7 days
  6. Appearance- There is a potential for the grafted tissue to appear lighter, you may also experience external bruising in the area.
  7. Sensation- There may be an altered sensation in the graft and in the donor area.
  8. Bleeding- Slight bleeding may be present for several hours.  If heavy bleeding occurs, call the office.